The Chariot

An Unforgettable Match

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An Unforgettable Match

Sophomore Sophie Chong suffered a season-ending injury in a match agains Bishop Foley Catholic High School.

Sophomore Sophie Chong suffered a season-ending injury in a match agains Bishop Foley Catholic High School.

Jack Stromberg

Sophomore Sophie Chong suffered a season-ending injury in a match agains Bishop Foley Catholic High School.

Jack Stromberg

Jack Stromberg

Sophomore Sophie Chong suffered a season-ending injury in a match agains Bishop Foley Catholic High School.

Tracy Cabej, Design Editor, In-Depth Editor

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On Jan. 5, the JV wrestlers traveled to Bishop Foley Catholic High School for an individual tournament. That is where sophomore Sofie Chong was brought down to the ground by an illegal move made by her opponent. This resulted in an injury causing her to lose some of her memory.

Chong stated that she struggled with every day activities.

“I couldn’t go to a full day of school for a good three weeks,” Chong said. “I had to be pulled out of all sports which was really hard, too.”

After making frequent trips to the doctor, Chong had to make some changes to her life.

“We tried a bunch of different things. There’s a special diet to help my brain heal, which my whole house had to follow too,” Chong said. “Lights really bothered me so we had to keep a bunch of lights off.”

Along with the long list of symptoms Chong had to deal with, she also had to deal with not remembering information she had learned previously. Although there are a couple academic gaps, she was lucky enough to have her injury during a period where new information wasn’t being taught.

“Since my injury happened near the end of the semester, there wasn’t a lot of school I had to worry about,” Chong said. “Most of my classes were already done.”

An injury can put a big dent on a person, but it can also do the same to a team.Chong insisted that for her team, it was different.

“They were all really supportive,” Chong said. “They realized that it wasn’t going to go away and they were just going to have to deal with it. They joked around and poked fun at me, but it was all fun.”

One teammate who got particularly close to Chong during that period of time was freshman Max Stromberg. Seeing as he also had an injury, the two bonded on the sidelines quickly and supported each other through the difficult times they were dealing with.

“[Chong] is like our little sister,” Stromberg said. “[We] hung out on the benches. We would go to the weight room a few times, but she couldn’t do much so we would just walk.”

When the injury first happened, many on the team didn’t know how serious it was.

“She was at a different tournament and I was wrestling when I found out, so I came back and the team told me she was injured,” freshman Adam Cooper said. “I was confused at first because I didn’t think it was that bad, but as the day went on we found out it was worse than we thought.

After the injury, Chong and her family went to see a neurologist, and they were warned that if she got another injury, it would be worse. Due to the injury she has now, if Chong were to get a concussion it would be worse than most, although it doesn’t make her more prone to them.

Chong’s mother, math teacher Sharon Douglas-Chong made sure that her daughter’s recovery was as smooth as possible.

“Everyone really rallied together to give Sofie the support she needed,” Douglas-Chong said. “In the first week, we were upon hours and hours at doctors appointments and her brother and sister joined so they knew how best to support her.”
Her friends, teachers and coaches were very supportive as well and that was very appreciated from the Chong family during that time.

“I was in awe of the support that came from all different walks in supporting her as she went through the process,” Douglas-Chong said. “It was a tough process and there was a time there that folks weren’t sure to what degree she would recover. We are all working to get Sofie all caught up because she missed two months at the end of the day.”

For many athletes, it’s never fun to get an injury and sit out for the rest of the season, but unfortunately, that is exactly what Chong had to do. Chong made it clear that the doctors gave her the thumbs up and it was all up to her parents on whether she would be joining next year. When her mother was asked on how she felt about her daughter joining next year, Douglas-Chong let out a laugh.

“The jury is out,” Douglas-Chong said. “Sofie is incredibly athletically driven and she likes competition and physical sports. I know that about her. She’s been like that since she could walk, so the real question becomes is there another sport that she enjoys just as much.”

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